Our Lady

from Tyagini Naima

After three weeks in the meditative quiet of the Ananda Retreat near Assisi, Italy, it was a shock to be back in the “real world.” The coarse laughter of the young men standing near me in the train station grated on my now finely tuned nervous system. The train to Rome was just the first stage of almost two days of travel to get back home to Finland. I speak English, but hardly a word of Italian, and I rarely travel alone. I felt isolated and a little afraid.

I comforted myself by listening to Swami Kriyananda chanting AUM through my MP3 player. The chant was suddenly interrupted by a crude grinding sound as the player stopped working.

I tried to visualize Master standing next to me as my “bodyguard.” Then I thought, “Divine Mother is the AUM always surrounding me.” I prayed to Her, “Divine Mother, be with me not only in Spirit, but also in a way that I can feel physically, so that I won’t be afraid.”

At that very instant a large group of English-speaking people came into the station, many wearing badges with a picture of the Virgin Mary. “That was quick,” I said to Divine Mother.

They were pilgrims just returning from Medjugorje in Croatia, where the Virgin Mary has appeared many times to a small group of visionaries. The pilgrims must have recognized me as a kindred spirit, because immediately I became part of their group. They offered to help with my luggage, and we all boarded the train together. It turned out my seat was right in the middle of their section. The group leader, a sweet middle-aged woman, was sitting next to me. All the way to Rome we talked happily about God and Divine Mother—the Virgin Mary to them, but we all agreed we loved the same Lady in different forms.

Just before we got to Rome, the group leader said to me, “Our Lady has asked me to give you something.” She handed me her personal rosary. “It is hard for me to give this away,” she admitted. “I have had it a long time, and have prayed with it in many sacred places. But Our Lady is urging me now to give it to you, to protect you on your journey, and I always do what She asks.”

It was only then that I told her, my eyes filled with grateful tears, that just before her group had arrived, I was feeling afraid and had prayed to Divine Mother to take care of me.